Apparently we Brits are quite polite. At least that is a reputation we have internationally. Allegedly we naturally form queues when waiting for something when people from other countries and cultures will start some form of rugby ruck or maul and pile in. It seems that we have a reputation for being patient people. I think I need to offer the world some caveats and amendments to this reputation. I would also suggest that this perception may be amended during the 2012 Olympics.
- When waiting in a queue at a bus stop the little old lady who arrives at the last minute, just before the bus arrives, will always take precedence over those who have been waiting for hours.
- When there are multiple queues you will always join the one that is moving slowest. This provides you with plenty of opportunities for deep sighing, eyebrow raising and tutting in the direction of the person in whose direction the queue is pointing.
- The natural queueing instinct can be overridden when there is chocolate or ice cream involved.
- The speed of movement of the queue is inversely proportionate to the length of time left before your car park ticket expires.
- Patiently waiting for parcels to be delivered becomes more difficult if you have to go out later in the day.
- Parcel delivery companies will usually leave it until the last minute of the “delivery window” in order to deliver an item for which you are waiting. The exception to this rule is that if you assume a last-minute delivery and go out, take a bath, or engage in any other activity that makes it impossible for you to answer the door the parcel will be delivered much sooner.
- When waiting in a doctor’s waiting room or at the hospital patients are no longer called “patients” after half an hour. Beyond this point they may be designated “victim, grumpy, bored or impatient.”
- There is a threshold of time beyond which fellow queuers develop a queue camaraderie. This threshold varies according to the length of the queue, how fast it is moving, and the importance of the activity for which the queue is waiting. For further analysis of this phenomenon see also ‘Blitz spirit’.
It seems to me that if someone could patent something to make queueing and waiting more bearable they could make a fortune. How do you bottle patience?
This seems to be one spiritual fruit that rarely ripens!
Be blessed, be a blessing.